Cuttack: Glenn Maxwell’s stupendous 38-ball 90 in Kings XI Punjab’s win over Chennai Super Kings in an IPL match here on Wednesday prompted the losing captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to compare the Australian with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag in talent.
Maxwell, the highest run scorer this Indian Premier League season with 435 from seven matches, butchered the Chennai bowlers to help Punjab score a comprehensive 44-run victory over Chennai and Dhoni heaped praised on him.
“Maxwell batted exceptionally well and he was supported by the other batsmen as well. You need some serious talent to hit those sixes one after the other. He is someone who is very different, like Sehwag or Tendulkar and he is batting at his best,” Dhoni said when asked about the huge eight sixes hit by Maxwell, including three reverse hit sixes.
He said his spinners gave away too many runs in the second half of the Punjab innings and that had made the difference in the match.
“Where we lost the game was when our spinners came on and they got plenty out of them. The first 10 overs they were only 70 but the next 10, Maxwell got them to 40 over par,” Dhoni said.
“If we had got off to a great start, we could have gone for it. But we lost Dwayne Smith and Ravindra Jadeja was our final throw of the dice but when he fell, we decided to just play it out.
“It’s very important in a tournament like this, looking to score 230 and getting out for 130, then in the coming games we wouldn’t be able to make it up,” he said.
Asked about the Barabati Stadium wicket, Dhoni said, “Very good wicket, bit of bounce for the quicks but in the second innings it became two-paced.”
Punjab captain George Bailey said it was satisfying to beat a formidable side like Chennai twice in the tournament.
“Chennai are the benchmark and for us to beat them a couple of times, it gives us confidence,” he said.
Asked about the incredible innings played by Maxwell, Bailey said, “Don’t really know what to say about it. It was something brilliant.
“It was almost the future what we saw there. Maxi and Davey, the shots they played and even the other young players and their shots. They gave themselves a little time and that was crucial. I had a bit of luck tonight as well.”
Man-of-the-Match Maxwell said he just hoped to continue with his good form.
“Pitch was lovely, coming on quite well. The spinners held up a little and we got away quickly. We (him and Miller) love batting together, we talk about it a lot and it was fun to have a big partnership together and hit a few out of the park,” he said.
“I practice it and keep trying to expand my game and try and hit the ball to different parts of the ground. I keep trying to do what I’m doing and we’re winning as well. We didn’t have an idea in mind, thought the pitch would get better in the second innings but once we went there we saw how good it was and we just kept going.”